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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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310                               LIFE   OF
and was on the most Intimate terms with. Madame de
Stael, Humboldt, &JG.
But among the Germans then residing in Paris
few interested Humboldt more than, the well-known
hermit, the Count von Schlabrendorf, a Prussian,
a man of great and comprehensive rnind, versed
in the modern French circumstances as few others
were, and addicted beside to a persevering study of
human and rational life, of political considerations,
and even of language, and resembling Humboldt in
liberality of thought as much as in elocutionary talent.
It is, therefore, not surprising that they should have
esteemed each other highly. Varnhagen von Ense,
who wrote a very clever account of this eccentric man,
relates, among other things, how he, being accustomed
to speak for hours uninterruptedly In the most beauti-
ful connexion, with the most vivid phantasy and in-
creasing energy, once was so lost in discussion with
"William von Humboldt that he early one evening
accompanied Mm to the stairs, candle in hand, and he
was found the next morning on the same spot still,
engaged in earnest debate with him, Humboldt has
testified the great interest he took in the Count
in a letter written to Varnhagen, after the latter
had published the above-mentioned memoir. It is
dated 5th March, 1832 : " I have read your ac-
ootmt of our ever memorable friend with great
pleasure. It has most ^vividly recalled to my mind,
tiie time of my intimacy with him, and * it seems
to me that you have been very successful in giving
so much of his traits of character and mode of action,
as might give the public an intelligible idea of
"him, and that even his more Intimate friends will
acknowledge the resemblance. You must not be dis-
appointed because your memoir does not give tte
entire impression, whtiieli we might desire, of this dem-
and venerable departed friend. There are mediocre
and great men whose merits and advantages can be
eoouted at once and easily, but SeMabrendotf was not